Oklahoma Senator Bergstrom files pair of bills to protect professionals from losing jobs over tax issues

Oklahoma City – Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, has filed Senate Bill 132 and Senate Bill 388 to open the conversation about agencies revoking professional licenses for tax issues.

“SB 132 specifically addresses nursing licenses,” Bergstrom said.

“However, as the bill proceeds, I am hoping other areas of licensure can be included as well.”

Under current law, professionals who end up with an issue at the Oklahoma Tax Commission can find their license revoked.

“I’ve helped a couple of nurses in this situation. In one recent case, the IRS decided to deny a deduction on a 2017 tax return. Because Oklahoma tax returns are linked to federal returns this resulted in OTC demanding payment as well,” Bergstrom said.

“OTC gave the nursing licensing board a timeline to revoke the nurse’s license. She drove to Oklahoma City to pay the taxes yet almost two months later OTC had not released the revoked order and this nurse lost a position that she loved.”

S.B. 132 is intended to not only deal with nursing licenses but open the conversation about whether it even makes sense to take away the livelihoods that enable individuals to pay their taxes.

S.B. 388 specifically addresses the time permitted to the Oklahoma Tax Commission for notifying agencies when tax issues are resolved.

“Bureaucratic to-do lists tend to end up in not-yet-done piles,” Bergstrom said. “S.B. 388 demands action. There is no reason for this to not be done immediately, and Oklahoma citizens deserve better.”

S.B. 132 and S.B. 388 can be heard when the 59th Legislature convenes on Feb. 6.